Nasser Karimi – Associated Press August 23, 2011
Iran’s president claimed on Tuesday the country’s military can cripple enemies on their own ground as Tehran put a new Iranian-made cruise missile on display, the latest addition to the nation’s growing arsenal.
The state TV reported that the new missile, showcased at a ceremony in Tehran, is designed for sea-based targets, with a range of 124 miles (200 kilometers) and is capable of destroying a warship. The TV said it can travel at low altitudes and has a lighter weight and smaller dimensions.
“The best deterrence is that the enemy does not dare to invade,” President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad said during the ceremony. As he spoke, the TV showed footage of the weapon, dubbed “Ghader,” or “Capable” in Farsi.
“The enemy should be crippled on its own ground and not over the skies of Tehran,” said Ahmadinejad.
He did not name any specific country, though Iran considers Israel and the United States as its enemies.
Iran has an array of short and medium range ballistic missiles capable of hitting targets in the region, including Israel and U.S. military bases in the Gulf.
In 2010, Tehran displayed other Iranian-made cruise missiles but with a shorter range. Cruise missiles are highly advanced, guided missiles that can hit a land- or sea-based targets with great precision.
Also on display Tuesday was a new Iranian-made torpedo, dubbed “Valfajar,” or “Dawn” in Farsi.
The West is already concerned about Iran’s military capabilities, especially the implications of the country’s controversial nuclear program. The U.S. and some of its allies, and as the U.N. nuclear agency, the International Atomic Energy Agency, fear that Iran is trying to produce a nuclear weapon.
Tehran denies the charge and says its nuclear activities are aimed at peaceful purposes, such as power generation.
Iran frequently makes announcements about new advances in military technology that cannot be independently verified.
Iran began a military self-sufficiency program in 1992, under which it produces a large range of weapons, including tanks, missiles, jet fighters, unmanned drone aircraft and torpedoes.